Rugby League Today: World Cup fallout, Smith keen to play

What’s on site

It’s a World Cup emergency – watch our reaction to the massive news from yesterday that Australia and New Zealand have withdrawn from the tournament.

World Cup organisers reportedly found out just four minutes before the news went public, and they were naturally disappointed by the move.

RFL chairman Simon Johnson branded it a selfish, parochial and cowardly decision.

International Rugby League chief Troy Grant claims that players have contacted him expressing their frustration that their own personal choice around whether to play in the World Cup or not, has been taken away from them by the national governing bodies’ decision.

Ireland international Tyrone McCarthy says the World Cup should go ahead without Australia and New Zealand, and give an opportunity to two emerging nations to compete.

What’s on social

Just a bit.

Could we see Kangaroos representing other nations?

Not sure how merch sales would go for this nickname.

It’s even hit cross-party politics.

What’s in the papers

More than 75% players have said they don’t have any concerns about playing at the World Cup, leading to calls for the Rugby League Players’ Association Down Under to step in and intervene. (Huddersfield Examiner)

Hull KR will play only their 11th Super League game of the season this weekend as they travel to Catalans in a hastily arranged fixture. Coach Tony Smith told the Yorkshire Post: “Who it was against and where it was didn’t really matter to us. We just want to play and appreciate the opportunity that we’ve got.”

Birthdays

Sky Sports presenter and dual-code international Brian Carney turns 45 today (July 23).

Also celebrating: Widnes half-back Matty Smith (34); one of Leigh’s Tonga connections Liuaki Hansen (53); former Halifax player and coach Tony Anderson (60)

What’s on TV/radio

9am – Live NRL: Sydney Roosters v Newcastle Knights – Watch NRL

11am – Live NRL: North Queensland v Melbourne Storm – Sky Sports Mix

Trivia

Leroy Cudjoe made his 300th appearance for Huddersfield in the win over Hull FC, some 13 years after making his debut against Leeds.

3 Comments

  1. Don’t blame the Australian and New Zealand players they are just as fed up as every one else most of them would love to play but it’s been taken out of their hands.

  2. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If the hypocrites from ARLC and NZRL aren’t going to make the flight to England —while AUS and NZ have no problem competing in RU and Olympics— then the IRL need to turn it around as best as possible.

    Not only are there now two less teams in the men’s RLWC, the women’s RLWC has lost half its Group B. Replace them with the next best-performing W teams from qualifications.

    In the men’s tournament, I would highly recommend inserting USA, Serbia, Turkey and Canada. Two extra teams, but why not? AUS and NZ are no longer in, you need to drive tickets sales and revenue, and these are the next biggest sides in the sport. Having Greece, Turkey and Serbia in the same World Cup will get TV coverage and do wonders for the game in that part of the world. Having two Canada teams (M/W), and Jamaica and USA in the men’s, will get coverage in North America.

    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Pacific Islands are taking this tournament seriously, they want to be World Champions and this is their shot. So the best are not yet gone. Forget AUS and NZ, and use this RLWC as a promotional vehicle for the sport.

  3. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If the hypocrites from ARLC and NZRL aren’t going to make the flight to England (while AUS and NZ have no problem competing in RU and Olympics), then the IRL need to turn it around as best as possible. Not only are there now two less teams in the men’s RLWC, the women’s RLWC has lost half its Group B. So replace them with the next best-performing W teams from qualifications.

    In the men’s tournament, I recommend inserting USA, Serbia, Turkey and Canada. Two extra teams, but why not? AUS and NZ are no longer in, and these are the next biggest sides in the sport. Having Greece, Turkey and Serbia in the same World Cup will get TV coverage and do wonders for the game in that part of the world. Having Jamaica, USA and two Canada teams (M/W) will get coverage in North America.

    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Pacific Islands are taking it seriously, this is their shot to be world champions. So the best are not yet gone. Forget AUS and NZ, and use this RLWC as a promotional vehicle for the sport for emerging markets.

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